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In a QnA site for religion only answers with references to credible sources should be allowed in this site otherwise they'll be chaos.

There should be no personal opinion questions or answers.

Proposal: Islam

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    Why should that be. Islamic interpretations differ based on the interpreter. I am not saying there is a completely different meaning, but some areas of the Quran are not exactly the same interpretations. – Dynamic Dec 1 '11 at 20:05
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The biggest problem with the "credible sources" issue is that not everyone agrees as to what constitutes a credible source. Although the Qur'an itself would be considered credible by pretty much anyone calling themselves Muslim, it is written in Arabic whereas this site will cater to a predominantly English audience. There are many English translations available and they are not as unanimously accepted, nor do they always agree with each other.

Many hadiths which are deemed credible by Sunnis can be outright rejected by Shi'ites, and vice-versa. And that's not even getting into the Qur'an-only movements which don't accept written hadiths at all.

Would amateur translations of otherwise untranslated texts be credible?

What about scholarly opinions? Shall we only accept the classical texts, or would learned opinions of modern-day scholars also be acceptable? Or would any scholarly texts written after the death of the prophet be deemed non-credible since they weren't part of his sunnah at all? Sound arguments can and have been made for all these cases.

The fact is, there is such ambiguity as to what is or is not a "credible source" that any attempt to programmatically enforce it is non-trivial; trying to do so will likely be far less effective than just using the community to ensure quality, as is done with the other StackExchange sites.

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The site should be for experts in Islam. As with any other Stackexchange site the community must ensure quality. This can be done by adding references to credible source in answers (or questions for that matter) or by flagging answer with poor quality (speculative/subjective answers).

I think it is worth to discuss what a credible source is. I do not believe that it makes sense to restrict references to a fixed set of credible source. I think this should be decided by the community through high quality (and upvoted) answers.

I think personal opinions can add much to an answer (this often occurs for instance on http://programmers.stackexchange.com) as long as it is stated clearly what is personal opinion in the answer.

This said, I do think that with any site on religion a major task of the community is to ensure that it does not turn into a discussion board, but remains a Q&A site.

  • Credible sources in religion are holy book and Sunnah. So restricting the sources is essential for that matter. Anything else will cause confusion, arguments and flamebaits. – Muhammad Hasan Khan Aug 21 '11 at 23:46
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    It should be noted here that Quran and Sunnah are the primary and secondary sources. Other credible sources exist, for example, statements by sahabah, opinions of scholars, etc – user42557 Aug 22 '11 at 12:58
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    How could a question like "Is there any difference in Ramadan practices from 1750 to the Ramadan practices of 2011 in <a location>?" be answered only referring to the Quran and Sunnah? I think there might be good and relevant questions about Islam that are much broader than interpretation/quoting of the Quran and Sunnah. – steenhulthin Aug 22 '11 at 13:49
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    @SteenHulthinRasmussen Ramadhan is explained in the Qur'an and Sunnah 1400+ years ago. So "Is there any difference in Ramadhan practices since 1400+ years ago till now?" the answer is NO, simply because Islam doesn't change. The purity and authenticity of Islam is preserved. Nobody understand Islam better than the Prophet and his companions, because they were there when Islam was revealed. Logically, in order for us to understand better, we have to refer to their understanding about Islam. – Arief Sep 22 '11 at 9:51
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    Ramadhan is an act of worship. In every act of worship we have to have a reference which says (What,When,Who,Where, and How). So if you ask how do we do Ramadhan in 2011, we refer to how the Prophet did it 1400+ years ago. – Arief Sep 22 '11 at 9:55
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    @Arief: The wikipedia article about Iftar (traditional meal during Ramadhan month) shows that there's plenty of culinary variation from region to region. This is just a simple example of observable memetic evolution within the Islam tradition. It adapted to locally available food ingredients and cooking technology. – Tadeusz A. Kadłubowski Oct 17 '11 at 9:27
  • @TadeuszA.Kadłubowski The prophet said that we should eat dates (fruit) for breaking our fast, and if we cannot find dates, we drink water, and so on. So it is ok to eat traditional food as long as it is halal. But the sunnah is that we should first try to find dates as today it's so easy for us to buy this fruits everywhere we live (well unless you're living in a bush). Another remark is that you cannot take some random sources (wikipedia articles, etc.) to make fatwa about islam. I wonder how your professor would react if you write a PhD thesis using wikipedia as your source of reference. – Arief Oct 17 '11 at 9:40
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    @Arief: This site is not "Islamic Jurisprudence", concerned with defining what is or is not legal. There are many valid questions on the history of Islam and the current cultural practices that do not require making a fatwa or citing a scholarly source, they just require knowing the answer. The community can then decide whether or not it is a good answer. – goldPseudo Oct 17 '11 at 17:47
  • @goldPseudo FYI Islam is not a religion that community can decide whether it is good or bad. Every topic has reference/sources, even though community decide what answer is good or bad, that decision should be based on references (Qur'an and Sunnah). – Arief Oct 17 '11 at 20:46
  • @AriefImanSantoso If a community Q&A site is not a good fit for questions and answers on Islam the Islam site suggestion should be closed. – steenhulthin Oct 22 '11 at 17:38
  • @steenhulthin I agree with you. This site can be good, only and only if those who give answers can proof that his/her answer is based on the Qur'an and sunnah. The problem with community based site is that people can vote for whatever they like, and frankly when it comes to islam, people tend to say and believe whatever they want without referring to the authentic sources. – Arief Oct 22 '11 at 20:32
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    The mosque in my city has been built of limestone simply because there's a limestone quary nearby. How can you cite a Qur'an source for this fact about islamic architecture? – Tadeusz A. Kadłubowski Oct 23 '11 at 15:56
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    @TadeuszA.Kadłubowski in Islam, anything with regards of non act of worship matter is allowed, unless stated otherwise (in qur'an and sunnah). And anything with regards of act of worship is forbidden except what have been taught by the prophet. This is how you determine if building a mosque (non act of worship) out of limestone is allowed or not, the answer would be yes it is allowed. (don't know if you're muslim or not) Early morning prayer is only 2 rakaat so if you do it 3 rakaat that would be wrong and forbidden because the teaching only says 2 rakaat (act of worship). – Arief Nov 26 '11 at 13:16
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    The same thing as if you use smartphone, television, airplane, those are all non act of worship so they're allowed in Islam. – Arief Nov 26 '11 at 13:16
  • @AriefImanSantoso But the reality is, even on issues related with act of worship, there are many differences between various branches of Islam. For example, recitations in salat could differ between a Sunni muslim and a Shia muslim. It is a mistake if you think that Islam is homogenous and constant across all cultures and branches: it is not. Even though all matters about Islamic jurisprudence is based on the Qur'an and hadiths, the interpretation of these sources could (and do) vary depending on lots of factors, including one's perspective and culture. – Ibrahim Arief Mar 5 '12 at 22:44
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Verifibale quotations for any answer should be the followed procedure. this would help the questioner to cross check whatever answer is quoted & accept or reject it.

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Answers must be linked to Quran (or Sunnah in case)

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